(22 October 2019, Honolulu, Hawaii) – As part of this year’s Filipino Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii (FCCH) Joint Trade Mission to the Philippines, the Philippine Consulate General in Honolulu helped organized a Business Symposium on 14 October 2019 at the Makati Shangri-la Hotel. The Business Symposium featured speakers from both public and private sectors. The event was designed to provide relevant information to trade mission participants regarding doing business in the Philippines and connect them to relevant government and business contacts.

Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas Assistant Governor Iluminada Sicat provided an “Economic Prospect Briefing” noting the growth story of the Philippines, which is backed by stable macroeconomic fundamentals, as well as prudent fiscal and monetary policies. Meanwhile, Dennis Ling, Administrator of Hawaii’s Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism (DBEDT) provided an overview regarding “Opportunities in the Hawaii Economy”.

Representatives from various offices of the Department of Trade and Industry also gave presentations during the Symposium. Magnolia Misolas-Ashley, Executive Director of the Foreign Trade Service Corps, discussed about the government’s priority programs. Lanie Dormiendo, Officer in Charge of the International Investments Promotion Service of the Board of Investments enumerated the steps in setting-up business in the Philippines while Gina Gulle-Yap of the Export Marketing Bureau briefed the attendees on the trade relations and potential opportunities between Hawaii and the Philippines.

Atty. Renan Plata of the Bureau of Internal Revenue explained taxation in the Philippines. Businessmen Michael Aguirre and Dr. Eliseo Aurellado served as panel discussants during the session on operating businesses in the Philippines. Dr. Carl Balita, owner of Dr. Carl Balita Review Center and Ma. Alegria Limioco, President of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), gave the Keynote and Luncheon speeches, respectively. Cristina Coronel, President of the Healthcare Information Management Association of the Philippines (HIMAP) presented about the country’s Healthcare IT and Business Process Outsourcing (IT-BPO) Industry.

During the Symposium, various companies and institutions also shared information regarding different types investment outlets in the country. Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) Assistant Vice President Carlo Lorenzo Cuevas spoke about bank products that residents and non-residents can avail of in the Philippines. Thirdy Tadena III, Regional Sales Manager for the Americas of Ayala Land International Sales Inc., discussed about opportunities in the growing Philippine Real Estate Market. Sherill Quintana, Director for MSME/ Homegrown Franchises (Non-Food) and Incoming President of the Philippine Franchise Association (PFA) shared about “Trends and Opportunities in Philippine Franchising”. Finally, Katrina Chan, Director of QBO Innovation Hub, encouraged attendees to invest in local startups.

Consul General Joselito Jimeno, FCCH President Nancy Walch, and Representative John Mizuno also gave their remarks on the current relations and potentials for collaboration between Hawaii and the Philippines. The Symposium was moderated by Vice Consul and Economic Officer Andrea Christina Caymo. Backed by positive feedbacks from the attendees, the Philippine Consulate General in Honolulu plans to arrange a similar Symposium in the next runs of the Trade Mission to the Philippines. (END)